Course Descriptions
MFA Program

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

 

PAINTING I (5 cr.)

This course introduces concepts and techniques in painting, immersing students in abstract values in the language of painting. Students will investigate image and metaphor, figuration and abstraction, iconography and narrative, color and drawing, pictorial space and its compression. Various projects and specific activities may be required, and students will be expected to explore individual styles and ideas that will serve as the foundation for their portfolio that will be presented at the final critiques. (Fall)

 

PAINTING II (4 cr.)

Further exploration of concepts and techniques in painting, with an emphasis on the individuation of the students' pictorial language will be addressed. Class investigations encompass various approaches to representational and abstract painting. Studio work is complemented by in-depth discussions of issues in historical and contemporary painting. Students will be led to explore a more sensation-based and philosophical understanding of art and their own work. (Spring)

 

PAINTING III (3 cr.)

Development of individual themes through independent studio practice is emphasized. Studio work is complemented by discussion of pertinent topics in historical and contemporary painting. (Fall)

 

PAINTING IV (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the individual formative process. Research, development, and thesis formulation are done under the aegis of an atelier in conjunction with independent practices. (Spring)

 

SCULPTURE I (5 cr.)

This course investigates the practical aspects of making sculpture through the individual students' encounters with a life model. The class includes instruction on measurements, modeling with clay, armature construction, welding and the safe use of equipment. In-depth study of the human figure is a core component of the course. Individual and group critiques are an integral part of the course. (Fall)

 

SCULPTURE II (4 cr.)

Continuing on the core aspects of Sculpture I, this course encourages students to continue their investigation of the human figure, with the construction of several life-sized sculptures based on the model. Students are expected to evolve a process that continually re-examines the figure as a whole, culminating in a visual and structural unity. Short-term projects, such as focus on head-modeling and clay sketches may also be introduced. (Spring)

 

SCULPTURE III (3 cr.)

This course further explores the concepts introduced in previous sculpture courses, with an increased focus on the work of the individual student in their studio. Students will be expected to continue to concentrate on the process of making sculpture, focusing on evolving beyond existing preconceptions of the figure, while incorporating whatever means and materials necessary to aid in the development of independent work. (Fall)

 

SCULPTURE IV (3 cr.)

Further investigation into the history of sculpture and questions pertinent to contemporary art. Advanced studio problems in sculpture are pursued with an emphasis on independent creative work in a media of the student's interest. (Spring)

 

MARATHON - DRAWING (2 cr.)

This two week intensive course investigates the many implications of drawing as a physical and cerebral activity as well as drawing as a philosophy.  Critiques are held regularly to engage the students and to develop a better understanding of the visual language of drawing. (Fall) (Spring)

 

MARATHON - SCULPTURE (2 cr.)

This two week intensive course offers students experience working within the language of sculpture. Students will acquire and/or extend practical skills through the manipulation of various materials and develop or improve upon their ability to make constructions. Students may work with various materials, both traditional and non-traditional, either from a model or other form, in order to abstract and analyze what they see. (Fall) (Spring)

 

CRITICAL STUDIES I: Words for the Wordless I (3 cr.)

This seminar explores a range of approaches that will enhance the student's awareness of the critical language attached to works of art, and their ability to discuss their own work. Readings cover a historical range of texts from the Renaissance to the early Modern era. Students will be expected to give an oral presentation and produce a research paper by the end of this course. (Fall)

 

CRITICAL STUDIES II: Words for the Wordless II (3 cr.)

This seminar will continue to build on the groundwork covered in Critical Studies I. Students will continue to explore and discuss the languages of art criticism and theory, with particular focus on Modernist, Post-Modernist and contemporary writings. Students will be expected to submit both a research paper and a developed artist's statement by the end of the course. (Spring)

 

CRITICAL STUDIES III: Thesis Development I (3 cr.)

This seminar emphasizes the students' formation of a critical language to discuss their own work in preparation for the writing of their Thesis paper. Students are encouraged to think about the many factors that both metaphorically and literally affect the making of any work of art. Choosing from a list of artist biographies, writings and interviews, students will make an oral presentation focusing on an individual artist, together with a presentation on their own work. (Fall)

 

CRITICAL STUDIES IV: Thesis Development II (3 cr.)

This course concentrates on bringing students into the contemporary environment of art production and reception through gallery, museum and studio visits and talks. Students are expected to review and comment on contemporary art exhibitions to further develop their ability to discuss their own work. A first draft of their final Thesis paper is expected at midterm of the semester for review and revision, together with a summary of reading and perceptual experiences throughout the course. (Spring)

 

DRAWING I [PAINTING] (4 cr.)

An introduction to drawing, this course emphasizes the articulation of space and pictorial syntax. Class work is based on observational study. Assigned projects address fundamental technical and conceptual problems suggested by historical and recent artistic practice. (Fall)

 

DRAWING II [PAINTING] (4 cr.)

Studio practice and theory focusing on the nature of drawing and emphasizing the development of individual students' ideas and work. Systems and conventions of drawing and visual organization are explored in group critiques. (Spring)

 

DRAWING I [SCULPTURE] (4cr.)

This class is designed to help students develop a sense of plasticity through drawing and clay modeling and to enhance the ability to manipulate space and volume through detailed study of the human anatomy. Students will particularly concentrate on the problem of depth, and exercises, both in drawing and clay modeling, will focus on the proportions and axial forces of the various parts of the human figure, studied in relation to one another. Studio visits together with group and individual critiques will supplement the course. (Fall)

 

DRAWING II [SCULPTURE] (4cr.)

This course continues to build on the skills developed in Drawing I, with further emphasis on developing a type of plastic consciousness inherently linked to each individual's imaginative faculties. Clay models of both full figures and heads will be produced, together with a body of sustained and unconscious drawings indicating a developing relationship with the tactile and kinesthetic aspects of the human figure. Studio visits and group critiques remain part of the course curriculum. (Spring)

 

INDEPENDENT PRACTICE I (1 cr.)

Independent work that would not ordinarily be accomplished within existing courses, designed by the student in conjunction with the enrolled atelier head and advisor. Expectations of the course include regular meetings, end-of-term critiques, and a graded evaluation. The course represents the beginning of the student's move towards more a more independent style of work and visual investigation. (Fall)

 

INDEPENDENT PRACTICE II (2 cr.)

In this course, work is assigned on an individual basis under advisement of the atelier head, and in consultation with the student's advisor. Expectations include regular meetings, discussions and critiques, as the student becomes more confident in working on a solo basis. (Spring)

 

THESIS PRACTICE I (5 cr.)

This course represents the continuation of private studio practice, working towards the creation of a coherent body of individual work. This studio course runs in correlation with the course Critical Studies III. (Fall)

 

THESIS PROJECT II (7 cr.)

The student must complete and present the visual portion of their thesis, which is expected to be a substantial body of completed work representing artistic achievement over the span of the program. The Thesis Project Proposal must be submitted and approved by the faculty prior to the beginning of this course. Work is to be completed by the end of the student's last semester. The creative work is presented at the Thesis Critique for final grading and inclusion in the Thesis Exhibition. (Spring)

 

ELECTIVE - WATERCOLOR (2 cr.)

The intention of this course is to provide a foundation for students to learn how to build a watercolor painting, from the first layout to completion, incorporating intuition and self-expression. Students will learn the processes of watercolor painting, together with a variety of techniques specific to the medium. (Fall)

 

 

ELECTIVE - PEER CRITIQUE SEMINAR (2 cr.)

These seminars allow students to participate in expressing their opinions, examining the language of painting, drawing and sculpture, and addressing concerns relating to their individual studio practices. Issues related to image content, structure and abstraction will be explored in depth. The aim of the Seminar is to develop critical judgment by means of exposure to the diversity of views, processes and studio practices of students throughout the School. The seminar is structured so that students, as a group, visit a wide range of museum and contemporary gallery exhibitions in New York.

(Fall)

 

ELECTIVE - DRAWING (2 cr.)

This class will offer a concentrated drawing environment working from life models in a studio situation, with the aim of using drawing as a means of analyzing one's own work in any media, in all stages of development. A wide range of mediums will be explored to allow drawings to grow and radically change over a brief but intense period. (Fall)

 

ELECTIVE - SCULPTURE (2 cr.)

This class will focus on the head and upper torso. Using clay, students employ observation to create a number of sculptures.  Exaggeration and abstraction will be encouraged in order to explore and discover the sculptural possibilities of the subject. (Fall)